January 10, 2017

Careful Driving for Winter

  In the winter, there are some things you will want to inspect on your vehicle on a regular basis. Check the air pressure of the tires on a regular basis. It should be at the amount recommended by the vehicle owner’s manual. It is important to keep the tires at the appropriate pressure because it can help prevent issues to the vehicle. Under inflated tires can run the risk of blowing out when they are driven on. Tires that are over inflated are more prone to pick up sharp objects that might be on the road. Tires typically lose a pound of air pressure for every ten-degree drop. Tires that are poorly inflated will not be able to grip the pavement as well as they should.   It is always important to have the windshield is clean and clear this winter. To help with visibility in the winter, make sure the windshield is free of any cracks, divots, or dirt build-up. The windshield wipers should also be inspected and replaced on a regular basis. If the blades begin to wear or have rips on them, they will not be able to clean the window as efficiently as they could. It is also important to make sure to turn the wipers off when you park the vehicle. This way you can help prevent the wiper motor from getting frozen. If the wiper motor becomes frozen when the wipers are on, this could lead to the motor burning out.   When twigs or other debris build-up in areas of your vehicle, it could cause issues. This is because it will block areas on the vehicle where water is supposed to flow out. It can then lead to corrosion or leaks. The most common spot to look is the air plenum near the windshield. Also, check the sunroof if you have one. Sunroofs have drains that allow water to flow down to the ground. Leaves and other debris can cause water build-up or leaks as well.   Winter puts a lot of stress on the battery of your vehicle. This is especially true if you park the vehicle outdoors. The battery should be inspected so that it is cleaned off of any debris build-up. This can cause a poor current to and from the battery. You can also bring your vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. Having a good battery can help the efficiency and reliability of your vehicle.
November 29, 2016

Inspecting the Vehicle in Winter

The winter months can present many challenges for you and your vehicle. While modern vehicles are designed to handle inclement weather conditions, there are some basic steps every driver should take as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. Replace or Refill All Fluids The best way to winterize your car is to start by checking your fluid levels. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the fluid levels for you. Coolant—It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information on this mixture. Make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line. Oil—Make sure to have the oil changed on a regular basis. This will help keep the parts operating efficiently with one another. Wiper fluid—Often overlooked, you will need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear. Inspect or Replace Your Tires Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure. If you have never checked tire pressure yourself, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can check the pressure and properly inflate the tires if they need it. Cold Weather & Battery Capacity The battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter. Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. To read the level of charge in your battery, you will need to turn the engine off. Some batteries have a built-in hydrometer eye that tells you the amount of voltage remaining in the battery. If you prefer, a handheld hydrometer can be used to collect the same information. While you are inspecting your battery, look around for the manufacture date. Knowing how old your battery is can clue you in to when it will begin to lose charge. Pack an Emergency Kit Keeping a safety kit in your car all year is a good idea. Things like road flares, a jack, a lug wrench, and a first aid kit should be at hand no matter what. Items to include in your winter safety kit can include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, a bag of kitty litter or sand incase you get stuck in slush, ice scraper, a small shovel, and non perishable snacks. Prevent Frozen Doors Door locks can freeze in cold weather and break your key if you try to force them open. You can purchase glycerine that you can use for de-icing. Think about where you keep it, however, because if the de-icer is in the glove box of your frozen-shut car, then it will not help you out. You can also place a tube at home in the garage and also in your desk at […]